Gators football team leaves for Arizona

Published: Tuesday, January 2, 2007 at 11:08 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 2, 2007 at 11:08 a.m.

The University of Florida Gators football team boarded two charter airplanes Tuesday morning, headed for Arizona for their national championship match-up against The Ohio State University Buckeyes.

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Florida safety Kyle Jackson gets ready to take a picture with Charles Morehead dressed in a Gator suit before he and other players board a chartered American Airlines plane Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2007 at Gainesville Regional Airport. Morehead is a pilot at University Air Center.

TRACY WILCOX/The Gainesville Sun

The players, coaches, supporting staff and their families left from the Gainesville Regional Airport on an MD-80 and B-737 operated by American Airlines amid little fanfare. Coach Urban Meyer was joined by his father.

A handful of passengers waiting to board their own flights seemed surprised to see the players parade through the terminal.

Charles Morehead with the University Air Center donned a furry Gator suit as he congratulated and snapped photos with the players just before they ascended the steps of the aircraft.

The players and coaches are expected to host a press conference at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix later Tuesday. The team's first practice is at Scottsdale Community College this afternoon.

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